22 March 2021

Extended flat-rate taxation of the private use of business vehicles

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On 1 January 2022, the Federal Department of Finance will bring into force the amendment to the Professional Expenses Ordinance, according to which the private use of a business vehicle can be taxed with a new flat rate that also includes travel costs to the place of work.

The Federal Department of Finance is thus fulfilling a motion of the Committee for Transport and Telecommunications that was adopted by the Federal Assembly.

For direct federal tax, the Professional Expenses Ordinance now stipulates that the private use of a business vehicle (incl. commuting costs) can be taxed at 0.9 % of the vehicle purchase price per month - instead of 0.8 % as was previously the case. Since 1 January 2016, travel costs to the place of work without field service must be declared as income in the tax return at CHF 0.70 per kilometre, of which a maximum of CHF 3,000 can be deducted as professional expenses for direct federal tax.

The income decleration of the travel costs to work as well as the deduction of the travel costs for direct federal tax and the employer's obligation to declare the percentage of field work on the salary statement will cease with the new regulation. It will, however, still be possible to report the effective private use with a logbook and to claim the travel expense deduction.

While the amendment to the ordinance is revenue-neutral for direct federal tax, there is a slight increase in revenue for value-added tax and social insurance.

If the cantons are interested in a harmonised salary certificate, they can adopt the amendment to the ordinance for cantonal taxes. This would lead to marginal additional revenue in those cantons with unlimited travel expense deductions or travel expense deductions of over CHF 3,000.